Captured By Fragrance

Copyright: svl861

Several months ago, I read a book entitled The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr, which mainly explores the life and work of scientist Luca Turin. Luca Turin has made an indelible mark on the world of scent theory because he believes in a different concept of how we smell, and backs up his belief with hard science. What I did not expect while reading this book was that I learned how deeply immersed Turin is in the world of fine fragrance, to such an extent that he wrote a well respected perfume guide.

As I continued to read The Emperor of Scent, I became intensely curious about several fragrances which have been touted the world’s best scents. Turin’s description of Chamade by Guerlain captured me so intensely that I blind purchased two tiny vintage bottles of the extrait, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed, because the fragrance is sublime.

Une note de départ verte et anodine donne le coup d’ envoi à un miracle qui se produit sur plusiers heures, voire plusiers jours. A green and somewhat nondescript top note launches a miracle that happens over several hours, even several days. As soon as the initial fog dissipates, a splendid form appears, all of one piece, smooth and seamless, a strong white note, powdery and sculptural, that strengthens without losing complexity until complete evaporation. Typically Guerlain in its flattering and tender character, Chamade is nevertheless a haughty perfume, pure and distant and miles away from the slightly catty chic of Jicky and Shalimar. Its tenacity is prodigious, and one would believe it conceived to be smelled two days later. Put it on at least two hours before asking it to have its effect.

A masterpiece of elegance and poetry. One of the greatest perfumes of all time.”

How could I pass up an opportunity to obtain Chamade after reading Turin’s description?

I became obsessed with finding other vintage fragrances, such as Diorissimo (Dior) and L’Interdit (Givenchy), and also found other lovely scents which are currently being produced. However, I always try to get the vintage versions, because the newer iterations are never exactly the same as the originals. I also try to get the extrait or the eau de parfum instead of the EDT because of the staying power of perfume formulations.

I ended up finding a vintage bottle of Diorissimo EDP, which is a gorgeous expression of lily-of-the-valley, but sadly, it doesn’t last on my skin. I kept a bottle of the original L’Interdit (1957) which my mother had in her collection, and I have noted a difference between the vintage version and the bottle which I recently purchased. Nevertheless, the modern take on L’Interdit is absolutely lovely when mixed with my body chemistry.

I also found other fragrances during my recent foray into the world of scent, and stumbled upon the lovely floral Mon Guerlain (Guerlain), and the intense Sublime (Jean Patou). I revisited Byblos (Byblos) which I had kept from my mom’s collection, as well as J’Adore (Dior). Another fragrance which I absolutely love is a brand new offering from Givenchy called Irrestistible Fresh, which is a beautiful light fruity/floral.

The one mistake I made was in blind purchasing Joy (Jean Patou) based on the fact that it is the most expensive fragrance in the world. When I received the bottle in the mail, I spritzed some on my pulse points, and immediately became concerned because I could smell an imminent funk from the mixture. In addition, it was heady stuff, very grandma-esque, and just not my style. I waited for a half hour for the fragrance to meld with my body, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to jump in the shower to wash it off! The clincher for me was when my kitten approached me, took one whiff, and made swipes with his paw on the sofa as if to cover the results of a recent potty session. I took another sniff, and realized that Joy had turned into something that smelled like cat urine on me, thanks to the civet which is part of the base of the legendary scent. I returned it immediately.

Now I am just experimenting with the various fragrances I have in my collection, and will switch up my scent depending on my mood, the weather, or what I plan to do later that day. And though Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Eau So Fresh is still my go to daily fragrance, I am truly enjoying the variety which the new additions to my fragrance collection are providing.

Popular Nail Shapes For 2022

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Image ID: 84478349
Copyright: druzhinina

It seems like lots of ladies are opting to have their nails professionally done these days, and there are now an assortment of different nail shapes which one can choose. The six most popular nail shapes are shown in the above image, with Oval, Round, and Squoval nail shapes best suited for imparting the most natural look. You ca even create an optical illusion with your nail shape, so that if you have narrow, long fingers and want them to look more substantial, you can opt for the Squoval (or even Square, which has sharper angles) silhouette. Those with short or wide fingers who are willing to have a bit of length to their nails will find the Oval shape more flattering and slimming.

Depending on how long your nails are, and whether you have natural or acrylic nails, you could adopt any nail shape and make them look elegant, especially if your nails are professionally shaped. An example is the Square nail shape featured in the image below. You can see that the model’s fingers are long and slender, so she can carry the more severe square shape and have nails which look feminine and pretty.

Square Nail Shape:

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]Image ID: 140647549
Copyright: marigo

Oval Nail Shape:

Oval nails are flattering on just about any hand shape, and the shape is durable as well.

Copyright: berezandr

Ballerina/Coffin Nail Shape:

I used to have Ballerina shaped nails for a number of years, and I just got tired of the shape, so I switched to Almond. Ballerina, or Coffin, shaped nails, have side edges which are tapered, so the shape can have a nice slenderizing effect on small, short fingers. However, partially due to the fact that I had a horrible nail technician whose work would chip, peel, lift and break constantly, I had to go to her for frequent repairs. I found that the sharp edges of the coffin shape would crack and chip off, despite being very careful with them. So unless you are getting your nails done by a skilled nail technician, I would opt against this shape, based on my previous experience.

@nailsbysab

Almond Nail Shape:

I finally changed to the Almond nail shape back in November, after my previous nail technician disappeared without a trace. I can honestly say that the Almond shape is fantastic, versatile, strong, feminine and flattering to my small hands. My only regret is having waited as long as I did to change to this shape, but I never trusted my previous nail technician to do a skillful job with a new nail shape. You can see in the image below how flattering the Almond nail shape is for a woman’s hands.

Copyright: marigo

Stiletto Nail Shape:

I honestly have never seen anyone sport the Stiletto nail shape except celebrities and 19 year old strippers. The Stiletto shape is very severe, with nails which come to a very sharp point, so I can’t imagine someone getting Stiletto nails unless that person had a team of assistants who did everything, presumably possibly even performing wiping duty during a celebrity’s bathroom visits (I presume a bidet would be a good investment for someone who has stiletto nails). To be honest, I wouldn’t even want to try Stiletto nails, even for a few minutes, because they are incredibly impractical and ridiculous.

Source: Nail Art Designs 2020

Mountain Peak Nail Shape:

There is a variation of Stiletto called Mountain Peak, which is a shorter version, featuring a sharp point at the tip of the nail. While it is far less treacherous than the Stiletto shape, it still evokes a feeling of vampires and haunted castles. Simply by virtue of the sharp, pointed edge of Mountain Peak, it also lacks the versatility and practicality of other, more moderate nail shapes. However, I think it could work for some women as long as leggings and tights aren’t essential elements to their wardrobe, or they don’t care if they rip into every delicate fabric they touch. I can’t imagine this shape working with nitrile gloves, which are an essential part of my life as a physician.

Source: Secret Of Girls

This Is Seriously An Honor!

This is crazy to me! I was bored one afternoon and decided to type in “hottest female doctors” in the Google search field. I had done this in the past and was stunned when I saw more than one article which mentioned me. I once again stumbled upon another article which was published in 2016, and which is a highlighted “People Also Ask” question on Google: “who is the hottest female doctor in the world:?”. I honestly thought I might see a venerated female colleague as a response to that question, but instead, I saw that there was an article on me!

I have gotten a LOT of criticism for being forthright in my determination to show off the labors of my hard work in the gym. My determination comes from being a “practice what I preach” type of person, and not from wanting to be in any type of spotlight. So before the haters emerge and decide to blast me, keep in mind where I am coming from.

Review of Nutree Brazilian Bottox Expert

My hair was always straight throughout childhood and adulthood, to the point where it often fought any type of curl or wave I tried to create. Then menopause hit, and my hair mutated into a super wavy, frizzy, unmanageable mess. To give you an idea of how wavy my hair became after the “change”, let’s just say that as my hair air dries after I wash it, it looks like I had put my hair into two pigtail braids and left them that way overnight, then unraveled them to release intense waves. On the rare occasion when I am rushing around and unable to run the flat iron through my hair once it has completely air dried, a few friends have witnessed how wavy my tresses have become. Despite the fact that those friends have remarked that they think it looks pretty, I cringe when I realize that someone has noticed the change in my hair texture.

Copyright: badahos
This was taken in 1991, when my hair was at its longest. You can see how straight it was.

I wouldn’t mind the waviness in my locks if 1) the wave was evenly distributed (the right side is considerably wavier than the left), and 2) my hair didn’t expand as it dried, creating a frizzy mushroom-shaped mass. I honestly feel a bit like Roseanne Rosannadanna when my hair is in the process of drying, and I fight it like crazy, using a brush-style blow dryer, hair oil, and shine serum. I have tried to skip the flat iron, but I truly can’t stand how my hair looks without that final smoothing step. I am always bound and determined to kill that hormonal squiggle which runs through my hair!

So when Nutree asked me to review their Brazilian Bottox Expert, I gladly agreed to do so, since I am always in search of products and treatments which can calm my unruly mop. This is considered a professional treatment, and the chemicals are rather harsh, so I strongly urge you to work in a very well ventilated room, wear gloves, and even wear protective eyewear if you have sensitive eyes like I do. Though I didn’t use my onion cutting goggles, I honestly did consider wearing them while I applied the treatment and for the 40 minutes during which I had the product penetrating into my hair. Even when I blow dried and flat ironed my hair, some of the fumes made me choke a bit, and my eyes teared a bit then as well.

Since Brazilian Bottox Expert is a thermo multi-control mask, and fills in the hair cuticle so that it is nice and smooth. So what you can expect from this treatment is hair which is shiny, smooth, and more manageable. The large jar should be enough for three treatments on my thick, waist-length, half-Asian hair, which I guess is acceptable. There is a sweet, bubble gum/fruity smell to the product, but that smell can be pretty strong when the product is being applied, or when a hot styling tool is introduced. That being said, the fumes are tolerable.

My post-menopausal wavy hair…

The first thing I did was wash my hair with an anti-residue shampoo, then allowed it to dry completely overnight while I slept (I’m lazy like that, and prefer to let my hair air dry). I then sectioned my hair into six sections, put on a pair of gloves, and applied the product to each section. I also made sure to comb the product through from roots to ends to make sure the product was distributed evenly. I set my timer for 40 minutes and made sure to sit in a well-ventilated room.

After 40 minutes, I lightly rinsed my hair, making sure to leave a thin layer of product in my hair. I could tell that there was a thin layer of product by the slippery quality in my wet hair. I towel dried my hair, then blow-dried it with a round brush. I will admit that this took FOREVER because I have very thick, long hair, and also because I detest blow drying my hair. One of the reasons why my hair is so healthy is because I only wash it twice a week, and I only run a brush-style hair dryer through my damp hair for about 3 minutes to speed up the air-drying process. So what I did was split up the blow-drying into three sessions, with about 20 minutes in between each session.

Once my hair was completely dry, I flat ironed my hair, taking small sections and running the flat iron 12 times through each section. The heat from the flat iron really kicked up the fumes, and my eyes began to water a bit, but I toughed it out. The result was incredibly smooth hair, without that nasty frizz I have been getting after washing my hair.

My hair immediately after finishing the treatment

About three days after I applied Brazilian Bottox Expert, I washed and conditioned my hair with Amazonliss Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner. As my hair dried, I noticed that the wave in my hair had relaxed somewhat, which surprised and delighted me since the product is not considered a straightener or relaxer. Right before my hair was completely dry, I ran a hair dryer through it, but it took no time to get it to dry, and my hair looked smooth and relatively frizz-free, with no mushrooming out (no more Roseanne Roseannadanna!). I could actually tolerate the amount of curl in my hair, but I still ran the flat iron through it.

My damp hair after washing it 3 days post Brazilian Bottox Expert application
My dry hair after washing and conditioning it
This is how my hair looked after flat-ironing it and sleeping on it overnight

I absolutely LOVE how my hair is significantly tamer, much more manageable, with less wave and considerably less frizz. The other bonus is how shiny my hair is now! I am hoping that this will last a couple of months, because it has completely changed how I feel about my hair now. Brazilian Bottox Expert is a complete gamechanger for me, and I honestly believe that anyone who is dealing with excessive curl and frizz and wants to make their hair more manageable should try this product.

Great Mineral Oil Free Product For Angry, Reactive Dry Skin

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Image ID : 104888033
Copyright : magone

 

I had spent the last two months of 2020 searching high and low for a natural, rich, mineral-free cream which I could use on my very parched, eczema-tortured skin which developed as a result of an overly aggressive CO2 laser treatment, a 2 month reaction to mineral oil, and the cold, dry winter air. After searching high and low in an effort to find a solution, I stumbled upon a product which fit the bill: Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty. From the very first application, I got INSTANT relief, and my skin drank this stuff up. I slathered it all over my neck, chest, shoulders, and forehead, and all the itchiness went away almost instantly. Ahhhhhh…

While the cream is extremely thick, almost like frosting, it absorbs quickly and beautifully, and hydrates like a dream. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that this product is fragrance free, and that there is just a nice, clean, very faint neutral scent from the ingredients themselves.

Though I suspect that I will go through the 8.8 ounce tub pretty quickly in an effort to finally heal my angry skin (my entire upper body is suffering), I think it is well worth it, especially since so few creams out there are mineral oil free, and also since this, along with only two other products I have tried (Skyn Iceland Arctic Repair Cream, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm), have the ability to calm my reactive skin to a point where I don’t feel like I have a million ants crawling all over me.

I will most definitely purchase this cream again. And again. This may be a new holy grail of moisturizers for me!

I’m A Jasmin Influencer!

I am so thrilled to be a Jasmin Influencer!  I have been with them since early December, and I have a blast creating highlights for the site and posting every day.  Yes that’s right, every single day, even on holidays and weekends!

Please follow me at www.Jasmin.com/staceynaito  and check out my highlights and daily story elements!  You can also direct message me anytime through the site, and I also make myself available for Video Calls for a pocket of time every day.

Topics I cover include:

Dating

Relationship

Soul Mate

Fitness

Flirt Advice

Beauty

Lifestyle

Travel

Fashion

I haven’t posted anything on Dance, but who knows?  I may talk about my three year stint with salsa dancing on the Jasmin platform!

You can sign up for FREE and get 15 FREE CREDITS!

 

I am also always open to suggestions on topics which you would like to have me cover.  Want more nutrition tips?  Beauty hacks?  Travel deals? Relaxation techniques?  On the go workouts?  You tell me, I’m open!

The Bush Is Back In Style, Ladies…

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Image ID : 99058606
Copyright : Vladimir Gjorgiev

If you’ve spent many years battling the crop of hair which continues to grow in your nether regions, I have some good news for you. The bush is officially back in style, so much so that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are rocking their pubes like it’s 1971. Now you can be free of stubble, razor nicks, the pain of having a wax infused muslin strip ripped away from your groin, and the piercing pain of laser pulses deranging your hair follicles.

Of course, if you have had any treatments to impede hair growth (laser, IPL, or waxing), it may be challenging to get the lawn to grow in fully. A hair transplant clinic in London has actually answered that lament by offering pubic hair restoration for women who have had it removed by laser. Apparently this service is increasing in popularity too.

This also may be good news for men who prefer a lush, full pubic bush framing the garden in which they enjoy frolicking. I wonder if this somehow follows on the heels of the lumber-sexual beard trend which some men chose to adopt in recent years? In true hippie, or as the trendy term goes, bohemian, style, I guess we are all reverting to a freer time. It’s time to back away from laser hair treatments, waxing, plucking, and shaving, in favor of a return to what Mother Nature intended us to sport under our skivvies.

Moreover, there are numerous benefits to allowing pubic hair to return to its original, uncropped and untortured state, which are listed in this article:

https://www.bolde.com/full-bush-trendy-relieved/

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Image ID : 116442280s
Copyright : Olena Kachmar

Have patience while you let your magic carpet grow in. And once your muff mop returns to its unrestricted state, you can even improve it with products like Fur Oil, which is specially designed to condition its thicker texture. A UK-based company named Two L(i)ps sells a charcoal infused vulva mask which apparently “detoxifies” your vajajay, and works just as well if your kitty is as bald as a baby bird or if it rocks a shaggy mane. I simply must share some of the musings of Imogen Edwards-Jones who wrote a hilarious article for Get The Gloss in which she reviews this bizarre product:

“…I am not a woman who gives her wazoo much thought. I do rudimentary minge management. I wax and clip and occasionally when I’ve been a little too busy, I’ve posted the straggling escapees back under my bikini while relaxing by the pool. But basically my vagina and I, we get by.”

Here are her initial impressions of the mask:
“…Initially, it made me desperate for the loo. It was like wearing a cold, wet, swimming costume, unpleasant enough to trigger a virulent episode of cystitis. Then after about five minutes, it warmed up. Somehow that was worse. Perhaps I had peed myself unawares?”

The company recommends that you apply a mask every day for 5 consecutive days, which comes to a whopping $120. Now, I honor and appreciate my goodie parts, but I certainly am not about to fork out over 100 clams (pun intended) to see how this product might yield a brighter, toxin free cootch.

Whichever you direction you ladies decide to go in, shaved clean, cropped, or a mop, rock it the way you know best!

Vajazzling

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Image ID : 113005851
Copyright : Irina Timokhina

When I was researching the topics which comprised my two previous blog posts, I ran across vajazzling, a ridiculous trend which somehow caught on with women about ten years ago. Wikipedia defines vajazzling as:

“A vajazzle (also spelled vagazzle) is a form of genital decoration, formed by the application of crystal ornaments on the shaved mons pubis of a woman. The process is known as vajazzling, a portmanteau of “vagina” and “bedazzle”.”

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Image ID : 82512498
Copyright : Marina Foteeva

I suppose vajazzling is better than genital tattoos or genital piercing, since it is painless and temporary, but I honestly don’t understand the appeal of affixing crystals onto your hoo-ha. Vajazzling art lasts anywhere between several days to 3 weeks, but you have to be careful about wearing tight clothing, because the fabric will cause all the baubles to rub off. You can expect to pay anywhere between $24 to $300 for an aesthetician to create a small masterpiece on your mound of Venus.

Here are a couple of videos which discuss vajazzling:

The adhesive which is used is medical grade, so the gems tend to stay in place quite well, even while swimming. But vajazzlers want women to be aware that frequent bathing may cause the stones to loosen more rapidly. My guess is that if regular bathing is discouraged to an extent, those private areas would need the extra ornamentation in order to lure their partners!

Technicolor Hair

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Image ID : 95962170
Copyright : Yulia Koltyrina

The idea of sporting brightly and unnaturally colored hair has taken off in recent years, and has asserted itself as a means of self-expression and individuality for many people. What’s wild is that this trend has caught on with middle-aged people as well as the younger crowd. Even the names of the hair color trends suggest whimsy, such as unicorn hair and mermaid hair.

Mermaid hair is specifically defined as a mixture of marine shades blended into bleached and toned hair, while unicorn hair colors are more reminiscent of cotton candy and “girly” pastel shades. However, this by no means is any indication that this is only for girls or women. The wildly colored hair movement is found among people of different genders and ages. I’ve seen men with lilac and aqua hair, and women in their 70’s with pink hair.

Check out this collection of mermaid hair color combos from Redken:

https://www.redken.com/blog/haircolor/13-mermaid-haircolors-that-you-have-to-see-to-believe

Then we have the fantasy colors of unicorn hair which are truly imaginative and distinct:

Unicorn Hair Color

If you’ve considered trying some fun hair colors, make sure you understand what you are getting into. If you have very dark hair like I do, the color change you will see will be very subtle, only detectable in sunlight and other types of light which illuminate the coating of color which sits on top of the hair cuticle. If you really want to go for a dramatic change, you must bleach your hair to prep it for color.

But is it worth it to bleach your hair in preparation for bubble gum colors? This fantastic article, written by Nicola Dall’Asen (IG: @nicoladallasen) goes into real depth about everything that is involved with maintaining a multicolored mane, and it isn’t all rosy. It’s a good idea to do some research on different products to see which works best for you, and definitely consult with a reputable color specialist who can bleach and prep your hair with minimal hair damage.

source: 123rf.com
image ID : 117877877
Copyright : lightfieldstudios

While Nicola focuses more on full coverage dyes, I have zero intention of ruining my naturally dark brown locks, so the only fun color products I have applied to my hair have been color conditioners. Overtone makes some amazing products, including color conditioners which are formulated to show up more on brown hair. I love the fact that application is so easy, and I also love the fact that there is no long-term commitment. If I wanted to allow the red tint which I applied to about 18 inches of my hair to fade, I would just allow my regular shampooing regimen to take place without using color conditioner, and the product would fade away after a few shampoos. I could start from scratch and maybe try purple if I wanted. Options are definitely much more limited for dark brown hair, so keep that in mind.

What I DON’T like about color conditioners (which also applies to permanent hair color) is that they make such a mess. Whenever I take a shower and wash my hair, my tub looks like a Jackson Pollock painting, and I have to remove the stains with bleach cleanser and a sponge every single time. I now have to spread a dark towel over my pillows and sheets when I sleep because the red will transfer to the fabric. I have also worn white or lightly colored clothing and then noticed later on that the neckline and back of my clothing were pink!

That being said, it has been fun experimenting with colors and knowing that I haven’t damaged my hair. In fact, Overtone Color Conditioners actually condition the hair and improve its luster. So I am definitely on board with using the products and having fun with them.

Give the temporary colors a try and see if you like them before diving into permanent color options.

Bohemian Vibes

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Image ID : 89336004
Copyright : Elina Zolotareva

I love the fact that bohemian, or boho, culture has blossomed as much as it has over the past few years. Bohemian fashion is creative, ethnically diverse and eclectic, not to mention loose and comfortable, and the social undercurrent of people who subscribe to bohemian culture is similarly diverse. Boho chic has brought back the hippie culture which had emerged during the early to mid-1960’s. The influence of hippies became so ingrained in our culture by the mid-1970’s that longer hair and colorful clothing from other countries was accepted as a new norm. Then with the Reagan era, a new conservatism swept the globe which remained for many years. Only in the past several years has the boho trend asserted itself once again.

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Image ID : 60367478
Copyright : slena

Bohemian culture strives to break conventional norms, and to express a unique style. It appeals to artists, musicians, and anyone who is passionate about having essential freedom. Bohemians also strive to establish harmony with the environment, and often will participate in movements which are designed to save the planet. Think of events like Burning ManBurning ManBurning Man and Coachella, both of which capture the hippie free spirit vibe perfectly. Fashion-wise, the bohemian vibe allows people to mix and match different styles and colors on a whim to create a look which is truly unique.

So how do you put together a bohemian look? Just remember that a key feature of bohemian style is to mix textures, add accessories like jewelry, hats, or scarves, and to look and feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear. Think of cozy fabrics like cotton, wool, denim, leather, and suede. Crochet and knit items, as well as some lace items, add a romantic flair and soften a look even further. Just make sure you don’t go overboard, or else you may end up looking like a thrift-store maven.

Boho chic tattoo design. Golden crescent moon and sun with elements of the mandala – astrology, alchemy and magic symbol.
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Image ID : 109387236
Copyright : Yulia SELINA